"Are you sure you want to keep the allotment? Because I've been told plots ten and eleven haven't had much done to them."
I flinch. This is a nasty surprise: my first skirmish with the allotment police. I muster a reply.
"Yes we do. We've been working the plot gradually. Last year we had five beds up and running. This year we'll have seven."
The clerk looks unimpressed. I decide new evidence is needed.
"My wife's eight months pregnant, so progress has slowed recently."
No reaction. I panic, and forget the primary hindrance to my plans - all the bloody rain. Perhaps this is the end of my allotment adventure, thrown out of the community in disgrace.
I wonder who blew the whistle. Was it the retired couple across the way? Or perhaps my shabby neighbour made a tactical nomination? Unfortunately my plot is adjacent to the car park, a location which invites judgement.
Finally, the clerk breaks her impassive demeanour.
"That's ok. Some people get a bit funny about these things, that's all."
Phew, a reprieve. I hastily pay the renewal fee and exit, before an appeal can commence.
My finest bed
So ended my first year in the secret world of allotments. It's been an amazing journey (as they say on X Factor). Here's some memorable moments:
A sequel beckons. Will part-deux be bigger box office? It's certainly got a bigger cast.